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New Markets 2 ERDF: Growth Platform

Supporting business growth in the Liverpool City Region

Eligible businesses can receive a 35% contribution to the cost of commercial advice.

Developed by Growth Platform, working with local partners, New Markets is a successful support programme for local businesses to access high value, commercial business advice, tailored to your business needs and chosen by you.

If your business employs fewer than 250 employees and has a turnover less than €50m and is based in Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens or Wirral, then you could be eligible to receive a 35% contribution* to the cost of commercial advice to support your growth. An average minimum spend of £3000 and maximum spend of £7,000 is expected.

* please note 35% contribution is claimed back after successful completion of agreed programme of support.

What support is available?

Subject to your eligibility, you can receive a 35% contribution* to the cost of commercial advice in a broad range of disciplines that can enable your business to grow including (but not limited to):

  • Financial Advice – Investment readiness, Business Planning, Corporate Finance.
  • Applied R&D
  • Legal Advice – Employment, Contracts, IP.
  • Product/Service Development & Diversification
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Developing Quality Management Systems
  • Supply Chain Development
  • Interim Sales and Finance Management
  • Export Development

To access New Markets 2 support:

The first step for businesses interested in accessing the funding is to complete the below application form.

Growth Platform’s Commercial Broker team will help you complete the application process and competitively procure the commercial advice you need to grow your business from the most appropriate commercial providers available according to the needs of your business.

The New Markets 2 Programme was created specifically to help small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Liverpool City Region by providing a portfolio of business support services to help them grow. Funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), eligible SMEs can access grants from Growth Platform of 35% of the cost of commercial advice costing between £3K-£7K.

  • All small and medium sized enterprise (SMEs) in the Liverpool City Region.
  • SMEs with less than 250 employees and an annual turnover of less than £45.1m or a balance sheet of less than £38.8m.

There are some exceptions to this, if you are part of a larger group for example, but this will be assessed as part of your application.

Eligible businesses can only access support from the programme once.

Eligible businesses can receive a 35% contribution* , up to the value of £2,450, to the cost of growth related commercial advice, tailored to your business needs and chosen by you, with a minimum project cost of £3K and a maximum of £7K.

*Please note 35% contribution is claimed back after successful completion of agreed programme of support.

The grant aims to help your business grow by accessing commercial advice in a broad range of disciplines including (but not limited to):

  • Financial Advice – Investment readiness, Business Planning, Corporate Finance.
  • Applied R&D
  • Legal Advice – Employment, Contracts, IP.
  • Product/Service Development & Diversification
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Developing Quality Management Systems
  • Supply Chain Development
  • Interim Sales and Finance Management
  • Export Development

You must not have committed to start working with a particular supplier.

Exclusions – Growth Platform’s New Markets 2 ERDF grant:

  • Cannot fund statutory requirements
  • Cannot fund training, but can fund coaching. If you are looking for training support, you can contact our Skills Brokerage Service team here.
  • Cannot fund capital expenditure

Completing an application form is the first step towards accessing the funding. The form can be downloaded here.

If you have any questions you would like answering before completing the application form you can contact a member of the team by emailing newmarkets@growthplatform.org

  • Application – completing a form and providing evidence, if necessary, to confirm eligibility.
  • Procurement – templates are provided to enable you to state and advertise your required service here, receive quotes (minimum of 3) and score
    suppliers.
  • Confirmation of Funding – upon receipt of procurement documentation, Growth Platform will issue a Grant Funding Agreement (GFA).
  • Work with your supplier – When you have received the GFA you can instruct your chosen supplier to begin the work.
  • Claim – when the work is completed to your satisfaction and you have made the final payment to your supplier, the claim for grant funding can be submitted.
    (Grants are paid quarterly – June, September and December 2021.)

Growth Platform’s Commercial Broker team are here to help you through the process.

Growth Platform’s Commercial Broker team will guide you through the process. This will include:

  • Completing an application form and providing any supplementary evidence that may be required.
  • Competitively procuring the commercial advice you need to grow your business. Templates will be provided to help you demonstrate best value in your choice of supplier and to be able to access with funding.

Once you have completed your procurement and chosen a supplier, you will receive a Grant Funding Agreement (GFA) by email via Signable. This will provide you with the value of the grant awarded, along with details of how you can claim the grant and the Terms and Conditions.

The GFA will need to be returned electronically to Growth Platform along with a Service Level Agreement signed by both you and your supplier. You will also be required to send your winning supplier an offer letter advising they have won the work and issue an email/letter to unsuccessful suppliers, advising they have not secured the work on this occasion – again templates will be provided.

When you are fully satisfied with the completed work and have made your final payment to your supplier, you will need to submit claim evidence via email to Growth Platform. This will be in the form of:

  • a copy of the invoice(s) from your supplier (these will have been issued after your GFA)
  • a copy of your business bank statement(s) showing payment(s) to your supplier leaving your bank account
  • an invoice to Growth Platform for the grant amount.

When you are fully satisfied with the completed work and have made your final payment to your supplier, you will need to submit claim evidence via email to Growth Platform. This will be in the form of:

  • a copy of the invoice(s) from your supplier (these will have been issued after your GFA)
  • copy of your business bank statement(s) showing payment(s) to your supplier leaving your bank account
  • an invoice to Growth Platform for the grant amount.

Grant payment dates are June, September, December 2021.

You cannot receive your grant payment until the work is completed to your satisfaction and you have paid your supplier in full.

You will be wholly responsible for ensuring the work you commission is carried out to specification and is of a satisfactory standard. The agreement will be between you and your supplier. Growth Platform cannot be held responsible for any issues or the quality of the work.

Each business can only access the New Markets 2 Programme once.

No. You can only claim the grant towards the cost of the work, not the VAT element.

Yes. Your supplier can be based anywhere. The quotes provided must be in £ sterling.

If your business does not yet have information available at Companies House to confirm trading, then you will need to provide evidence of trading. Evidence of trading can be either a business bank statement showing trading entries, or two recent trading invoices to a customer.

Work must complete by 30th November 2021 at the latest, to enable Growth Platform to process claims for this round of funding.

Currently we’re unable to consider applications for projects costing more than £7K. If you do have a larger project in mind, please speak to a member of the team, as other programmes of support may be more appropriate.

If there are potential changes to your project, including your supplier, after the GFA has been issued, you will need to speak with one of the team as soon as possible.

After receiving your Grant Funding Agreement and both you and your supplier sign a Service Level Agreement, your supplier can issue an invoice which you may agree to pay in instalments or one lump sum.

If you make payments to your supplier in instalments, evidence of each payment leaving your business bank account will need to be provided. You should not make payments to a supplier in advance of invoice dates. You will not receive the grant payment until all the work has been completed and you can evidence full payment to your supplier, whether that be in instalments or a lump sum.

Evidence of payment is required. The payments need to be made from your business account which has the same name as the business applying for the grant – named on the application form.

How to contact us

If you would like to discuss support to grow your business, simply contact one of our Commercial Brokers:

Lisa Ashby-Dowling or Paul Radcliffe at newmarkets@growthplatform.org